Little Critters Veterinary Hospital

1525 N Gilbert Road Suite #C-101
Gilbert, AZ 85234


Title: Comprehensive Axolotl Care Guide for New Owners

axolotl axolotl care


Axolotls, also known as "Mexican walking fish," are fascinating amphibians known for their regenerative abilities and unique appearance. Proper care is essential for these creatures to thrive in captivity. This guide, with insights from Little Critters Veterinary Hospital, covers essential aspects of axolotl care including feeding, water quality, lighting, temperature, common health issues, and expert tips.


A balanced diet is crucial for your axolotl's health. Provide a variety of high-quality protein sources:

  • Earthworms: A favorite; available at bait shops or can be home-cultivated.
  • Bloodworms: Serve as a treat; offer frozen or live.
  • Brine Shrimp: A nutritious option, available live or frozen.
  • Axolotl Pellets: Use high-quality pellets formulated for carnivorous aquatic species.
  • Blackworms: Offer occasionally as a live food option.

Feeding Tips:

  • Feed juveniles (under 5 inches/13 cm) daily.
  • Adults can be fed 2-3 times a week.
  • Adjust feeding based on growth and activity.
  • Remove uneaten food after 15-20 minutes to prevent water pollution.


Maintaining water quality is critical for axolotls:

  • Temperature: Keep between 60-68°F (16-20°C).
  • pH: Maintain at 7.4-7.6.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Keep as close to 0 ppm as possible.

Water Maintenance:

  • Use a quality filter with gentle flow; sponge filters are recommended.
  • Conduct weekly 20-25% water changes, using a conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines.
  • Regularly test water parameters with a reliable kit.


Choose a substrate that poses no risk of ingestion:

  • Avoid small gravel or rocks that axolotls could accidentally swallow.
  • Fine sand is generally safe for larger axolotls but can still pose a risk for younger ones.
  • Alternatively, consider a bare-bottom tank for easier cleaning and maintenance.


Axolotls don't require specific lighting but benefit from a natural day-night cycle:

  • Use low-intensity LED lights or rely on ambient room lighting.
  • Avoid direct sunlight to prevent overheating and algae growth.
  • Maintain a consistent day-night schedule to reduce stress.


Stable, cool water temperatures are essential:

  • Use an aquarium thermometer to monitor.
  • Employ a cooling fan or aquarium chiller if room temperatures are high.
  • Insulate the tank if necessary to maintain stability.

Common Disease Conditions:

Watch for signs of health issues, often related to water quality, stress, or diet:

  • Fungal Infections: White, cotton-like growths; treat with antifungal medication and improve water quality.
  • Bacterial Infections: Red or swollen areas; consult a veterinarian for antibiotic treatment.
  • Impaction: Avoid fine gravel; use large stones or a bare-bottom tank to prevent digestive blockages.
  • Stress: Indicated by pale coloration, reduced appetite, or lethargy; ensure a stable environment with hiding places.

Recommendations from Little Critters Veterinary Hospital:

  • Source your axolotl from a reputable breeder or rescue to ensure health.
  • Prepare and cycle the aquarium before introduction to establish a stable environment.
  • Monitor water parameters diligently and address issues promptly.
  • Include various hiding spaces like PVC pipes, caves, or plants for security.
  • Minimize handling to protect their delicate skin.
  • Seek advice from a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets for any health concerns.


Axolotls are unique and rewarding pets, but they require careful attention to their environment and diet. By following this comprehensive care guide and seeking guidance from experts like those at Little Critters Veterinary Hospital, you can provide a safe and healthy home for your axolotl, ensuring a long and enjoyable companionship.